McQuirter v. State
36 Ala. App. 707, 63 So.2d 388 (1953)
Allen (described as 'a white
woman') was walking down the street with her kids when she saw McQuirter
(described as 'a Negro man') sitting in a car. He exited the car and
began to follow her. Allen got scared and called for a neighbor. McQuirter
wandered about aimlessly for a while and then went home.
McQuirter was arrested and
charged with assault with intent to rape.
At Trial, the sheriff
testified that McQuirter confessed to police (under interrogation) that
was thinking about raping Allen, but didn't go through with it.
At Trial, McQuirter
testified that he never threatened Allen and wasn't even following her,
he just happened to be walking in the same direction.
The Trial Court convicted
McQuirter of assault with attempt to rape and fined him $500. He appealed.
The jury was instructed that
they "may consider social conditions and customs founded upon racial
differences, such as that Allen was a white woman and McQuirter was a
The Appellate Court upheld the
The Appellate court found
that in order to be guilty of attempt,
there must be an intent on
the part of the defendant to commit the crime.
The Court found that intent is a question to be determined by the jury
from the facts and circumstances adducted at trial.
The jury found that
McQuirter had intent beyond
The Court found that jury's
verdict was reasonable and should not be overturned.
Note that this case happened
in Alabama during the 1950s.